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Film crew arrested in Kalpitiya

Jan 28 (CT) A media crew of 16 people, including a US national, who were engaged in recording a documentary about the post-war situation in Sri Lanka without obtaining permission, was detained for questioning by the Kalpitiya Police, sources said. The group was taken into custody while they were filming near the Pallivasal Thurai Lagoon in Kalpitiya on Saturday, following a tip-off made by a resident of the area. The group was released on the same day after recording statements concerning the more..

'We expect the Queen'

Jan 28 (CT) Undaunted by an imminent review of Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth in the aftermath of the controversial impeachment of the CJ, govt officials say they expect Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, to be in Sri Lanka when the country hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) later this year. Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, K. Amunugama, said initial preparations are underway more..

LSSP seeks explanation from MP who cast pro-impeachment vote

Jan 28 (FT) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party has called for explanation from its National Organiser Y.G. Padmasiri about his decision to vote in favour of the impeachment motion against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake in Parliament on 11 January, despite the Leftist Party’s politburo having decided it would not support the govt’s removal of the top Judge. Padmasiri is to file his explanations by 31 January. LSSP Leader and Senior govt Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana abstained from voting more..

Lankan expats duped by conman selling beach property

Jan 28 (CT) Hundreds of Sri Lankan expatriates in Europe who paid a local con artiste large sums of money to buy 'a piece in the tropical paradise' – a beachfront coconut property – have found their dreams of a lifetime had turned into a nightmare. The CID has launched an investigation into the racket after dozens of Lanka expats in Europe, who had been duped by the conman complained to the police. The expatriates say the suspect had promised they could own beachfront more..

US delegation visits Jaffna

Jan 28 (DM) The visiting top level US delegation on Sunday visited Jaffna and held talks with Security Forces Commander-Jaffna Maj.Gen. Hathurusinghe, the army said. “The delegation was briefed on present situation in Jaffna in terms of security, economic development, rehabilitation and resettlement and social harmony during the meeting,” the Army said. Speaking during the discussion, Maj.Gen. Hathurusinghe told more..

Two Jaffna undergraduates to be freed soon

Jan 28 (NS) Jaffna University students, still undergoing rehabilitation in Welikanda, are likely to be released next month, military officials said last Friday. Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe told The Nation though a specific date of their release was not finalized, they would be freed anytime next month depending on the progress of the rehabilitation program. Two of four students, who were arrested late November last year by the TID, more..

Migrant worker remittances exceeds $ 6 b

Jan 28 (Island) Central Bank statistics revealed that the remittance from Sri Lankan migrant workers exceeded US$ 6 billion in 2012. Participating as the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of the International Conference on Migration in Colombo yesterday, Institute of Policy Studies founder member and Chairman Prof W. D. Lakshman said migrant workers play a significant role to boost the country's foreign exchange earnings, human resource development, etc. more..

Fresh team for New Year

Jan 28 (FT) President Rajapaksa is set to realign his Cabinet today, with a reshuffling of key portfolios that analysts say is likely to distinguish achievers from below-average performers holding ministerial portfolios in the ruling administration. A new Cabinet of Ministers will be sworn in before President commencing at around 11 a.m. today. Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake who declined to provide more..

Editorial: Tight-lipped indifference at the massacre of heritage

Jan 28 (DM) Sri Lankans are a sentimental lot. However, the peculiarity of the sentimentalism lies in the fact that, those who do not brook even the slightest insult to the ‘Sri Lankanness’ at the hands of the foreigners tend to go tight-lipped and closed-eyed, when a damage of a similar nature is caused by a native. These patriotic sentiments caught fire last week when the BBC reported that a garden doorstep at a home in Devon in the UK which had been identified as a rare artifact; more..

Real and Phantom Per Capita Income

Jan 28 (DM) The Per Capita Income (PCI) is derived by dividing the Gross National Product/Income (GNP/I) of a country by the total population of a country during a given period of time. It is a commonly used yardstick for practical and analytical purposes. However, it is important to understand that the per capita income of a country does not necessarily indicate the level of development of that country. For example, according to the World Development Indicators 2012 of more..

Shanty dwellers won’t be forced out – Mayor

Jan 28 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil yesterday said that cooperating with the Govt was essential to develop the city. Those living in shanties would not be forced out of their homes. They would only be temporarily shifted and resettled as soon as permanent housing units were constructed. The govt, too, had understood it, the Mayor said, adding that 60,000 housing units were needed to resettle low income group families. more..

Tourist drivers threaten to strike

Jan 28 (ST) Tourist drivers threaten to go on strike if their demand for an increase in allowances and charges is further ignored.“A strike may be our only solution,” said Srilal Munasinghe, president of the Chauffeur Tourist Guides Lecturers Association (CTGLA). The association is demanding a Rs. 10 increase per kilometer charge, as well as Rs. 1,000 for a day’s food-and-lodging expenses, and Rs. 500 for guide rates. more..

US to submit 'tough' resolution on Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (CG) The United States is to submit a new resolution on Sri Lanka at the February-March UNHRC meeting in Geneva. According to the Uthayan newspaper a visiting US delegation had informed the TNA that a US backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC is a certainty. The US State Department deputies, who had visited Jaffna yesterday and met the army as well as the Jaffna bishop and others in the area, more..

CEB may be asked to import fuel direct

Jan 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run CEB may be asked to import fuel directly to protect the main petroleum distributor from mounting unpaid dues. Petroleum minister Susil Premajayantha said that state-run CPC was due to discuss with the Treasury payment arrears which are rising. "We are going to propose that the CEB imports its own fuel requirements and the CPC will help only in the transportation of the fuel," he said. more..

Commonwealth Secretary General due next month

Jan 28 (GDI) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will visit Sri Lanka on February 10th to discuss arrangements for holding the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this year. Sharma will be in the country on a routine visit to discuss arrangements for the CHOGM. During his visit, Sharma is to meet the Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and several senior govt officials. more..

Media grouping plans ‘Black January’ protest against ‘dictatorial’ govt.

Jan 28 (Island) The Alliance of Media Organizations will launch a protest campaign tomorrow, at the Lipton Circus, to highlight the suppression of the media and continuing attacks on the judiciary. Spokesperson for the alliance Sunil Jayasekera said that the protest, scheduled to take place at 2.00 p.m. would be followed by a public meeting at the public library. He said that it was part of the ongoing campaign to target more..

Kachcheri fire report out soon

Jan 28 (ST) The special three-member committee appointed to access the damage caused by the fire that broke out at the Colombo District Secretariat (DS) (Colombo Kachcheri) last November is due to submit its report next week. Public Administration and Homes Affairs Ministry Secretary P.B.Abeykoon said the three members, all attached to the Ministry are presently inquiring into the raging fire that destroyed the important more..

More teachers accused of rape

Jan 28 (SL) There has been an increase in the number of rape cases involving school teachers, the Education Ministry said. Deputy Education Minister Vijitha Wijayamuni Zoysa said that teachers involved in such incidents will be suspended from service. He said that the Education Ministry will join with the Women’s Affairs Ministry and National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) to formulate laws to deal with child rape. more..

Former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake invited to join international judicial organization

Jan 28 (LT) Former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is getting invitations by international organizations to join them say political sources. It is also reported that she has been invited to join the World Judicial Commission (WJC) which is the legal arm of the World Govt of World Citizens (WGWC). Meanwhile, a large number of international legal organizations have expressed their displeasure to the govt more..

President reshuffles cabinet, new ministers appointed

Jan 28 (CG) President Rajapaksa named new Cabinet Ministers during a reshuffle of some of the portfolios today. In all, the President named 10 new Cabinet Ministers, 6 Deputy Ministers and 2 project Ministers. Among the most notable changes was that of the portfolios of the Ministries of Power and Energy and Petroleum Resources, both which were in the spotlight in the recent past after CPC and CEB suffered more..

Editorial : Will our religious leaders take up this call?

Jan 28 (CT) As if the violence and savagery this country has gone through over the years is not enough, certain disgruntled elements have, over the past few weeks, been going around the country rousing communal feelings over issues that are matters of individual choice. Certain sections of the clergy too have been backing these elements, perhaps without considering the seriousness of the issue. There have also been calls that the law relating to marriages be amended to allow more..

The post-impeachment future and the role of the judiciary

Jan 28 (CT) In several previous statements the Friday Forum expressed its deep concern about, and its opposition to, the manner in which Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was impeached. The entire episode deeply offends all sense of decency and fairplay; it has also earned the opprobrium of responsible international bodies. Citizens no longer can rely on fundamental principles of democratic governance to protect their rights and liberties. The manner in which the ruling political group more..

Fight against terrorism is not over, Rudrakumaran is still in the US – MR to US

Jan 28 (CT) “Finally, the president said that the GSL’s fight against terrorism was not over and that extremist networks continued working abroad and even now had no problem raising money. He noted that Tamil activist Rudrakumaran was still in the U.S. and claimed he was still working to support the LTTE. On the rest of the Tamil diaspora, the president complained that while they were quick with their criticisms of the GSL, more..

University administration to hold meeting with DIG

Jan 28 (Island) Three students, following the National Diploma in Technology (NDT) at the Moratuwa University, who were arrested over the January 16 attack on engineering undergraduates, will be produced before an identification parade at the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court today (28). Inspector Chammika Sampath said that four NDT students were arrested in connection with the clash, but one had been released on bail last week. He said that they recorded statements from more..

Lanka among top software exporters

Jan 28 (DM) For the first time, Sri Lanka has been featured in United Nations Conference on Trade And Development’s (UNCTAD) Information Economy Report – 2012 as country that has a software industry with a high export market penetration, a position shared with IT services offshoring giant, India. The report which analyzed the software industry in developing countries, considered English language skills as a contributing factor to the success of countries such as Sri Lanka, more..

TV Rights deal takes new twist

Jan 28 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket is under instructions to open tenders for TV rights. The instructions had come from a top level authority in the country, as reported. However, when contacted, a high ranking official from the marketing department of SLC revealed that he has not received any orders as such. "We're currently discussing the matter with 'Ten Sports' he said further. Previously it was reported that certain officials are planning more..

Rains, floods cause havoc

Jan 28 (Island) More than 360,000 persons have been affected by floods in the Batticaloa and Ampara Districts. The water levels had subsided in some areas, but 6,196 persons were still living in temporary shelters as their houses had been damaged. So far, 351,703 persons or 95,844 families had been affected by the floods while one death by drowning had been reported from the Porathivu Pattu Divisional Secretary’s area of the Batticaloa District, more..

UNHRC to adopt UPR report on Lanka

Jan 28 (SL) The UNHRC will adopt the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on Sri Lanka during the 22nd session of the UNHRC which begins next month in Geneva. According to the agenda of the session Sri Lanka’s UPR report is among a list of UPR reports of countries listed to be adopted at the council session. The UPR on Sri Lanka was held last November in Geneva, during which, Sri Lanka rejected 98 and accepted 111 recommendations submitted by countries at the UPR. more..

Mid-sea protest by Sri Lankan fishermen planned

Jan 28 (E24|7) Minister Douglas Devananda said on Saturday that a mid-sea protest against Indian fishermen for poaching in the country’s waters will be staged by over 5,000 Lankan fishermen. The protest would be held during the annual feast of St. Anthony in the church on Kachchathivu Island, attended by Indian and Sri Lankan devotees, he said. He Indian fishermen were destroying the SL’s aquatic resources more..

Sri Lanka to host South Asia economic policy summit

Jan 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host the 6th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES), a policy forum that brings together academia, govt, civil society and the private sector in the region, each year. "The emerging growth opportunities and challenges for South Asia in the context of changing global economic dynamics will come into focus at this Summit, similar to the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland, albeit at a regional level," Sri Lanka's Institute of more..

Public officials told to declare assets

Jan 28 (CT) In order to maintain transparency, the govt has strictly asked the public officials to submit their assets and liabilities before March 31. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, has ordered all the ministries to timely submit the declarations of assets and liabilities of senior public officials. Accordingly, the secretaries of the ministries are ordered to submit the declarations of assets and liabilities before March 31 to the Presidential Secretariat. more..

T20: Sri Lanka cling on for last-ball win

Jan 28 (CI) Thisara Perera was the difference with the bat and then held his nerve, although only barely, with the ball to seal a two-run victory off the final delivery of a rain-reduced chase. In a heated finale, Glenn Maxwell needed four runs from the last ball for victory and was frustrated by a long conference held by several Sri Lankan players before the delivery was bowled, and when Perera sent down the ball wide of off Maxwell more..

GMOA slams media for 'painting a wrong picture'

Jan 28 (AD) The GMOA says that media had made the presumption that the doctor was at fault over the incident at the Matara Hospital, which resulted in a law student losing her hand. It was reported yesterday that initial inquiries found that the amputation of a law student’s hand, after suffering fracture injuries in a fall, was caused due to negligence on the part of the doctor who treated her and the hospital staff. Preliminary inquiries regarding the incident have not been completed yet more..

AG’s Dept committed to protect Human Rights - AG

Jan 28 (DN) The Attorney General’s Department is committed towards protecting Human Rights. Law enforcement authorities are dedicated in this endeavour, Attorney General Palith Fernando PC said. He said the department strengthened institutions that protect Fundamental Rights to see that they are protected in this country. “We have strengthened the law as much as possible. We have strengthened institutions protecting Fundamental Rights to the best of our ability to see more..

Jayasuriya named chairman of selectors

Jan 28 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has been appointed chairman of selectors by sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and the number of selectors increased to five. Jayasuriya is a MP for the ruling UPFA, of which Aluthgamage is also a member. He was a late addition to the list of nominees sent to the minister by Sri Lanka cricket, and will begin his tenure on February 1, 19 months after his last appearance for Sri Lanka. more..

Ugly scenes just 'heat of the moment'

Jan 28 (CI) The Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews and his Australia counterpart George Bailey have played down the ugly scenes at the end of the second Twenty20 as "heat-of-the-moment stuff" and declared there was no lingering ill-feeling after the match. Sri Lanka's near two-month tour of Australia ended with a last-ball victory in the Melbourne match but the battle did not appear to end there as players heatedly exchanged words on the field after the game. The problems appeared to begin more..

Country heading towards a dark era – Sajith

Jan 28 (CT) Sajith Premadasa, UNP MP warned the country is heading towards a dark era and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening day by day. “There are many avenues and openings for powerful people to become richer, but the poor suffer without any means to eke out their living. The rulers are well off, ”he added. Premadasa, was addressing those who attended the Sahane Yaathra programme to distribute rice among people who were affected by the floods in more..

Sri Lanka is in grave crisis in Geneva

Jan 28 (OU) China, Russia, Cuba including Sri Lanka's very close vital friendly countries have lost membership, by the UNHRC's rotation system for membership, for the diplomatic debate of the Geneva sessions which is scheduled to be held in the month of March would be a critical ordeal for Sri Lanka is according to diplomatic circles. Further Qatar, Kuwait countries which were supportive countries of America rejected the more..

Sandhaya's fight for her husband, 'seized' by the govt

Jan 28 (AN) "I have a mission to accomplish, which my husband paid with his life. Despite the hardships, I shall continue to fight for him, our children and all those who face the same experience," Sandhaya Eknaligoda said. She is the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda, a political cartoonist and journalist who disappeared three years ago. Prageeth vanished on 24 January 2010 just before the elections that saw current President Mahinda Rajapaksa defeat former General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Politicians won’t plunder under ward system: Minister

Jan 28 (DM) People’s representatives would not have to plunder public funds after the introduction of the new electoral ward system as the new system would not necessitate them to spend millions of rupees on election campaigns, minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said that under the ward system in elections people’s representatives would not have to fight each other for preferential votes and also they would not have to spend exorbitant amounts of monies on election campaigns. more..